No need to panic: South African doctor says omicron has MILD symptoms
11/30/2021 // Matthew Davis // Views

The South African doctor who first alerted authorities to the presence of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) omicron variant reported that it presents "unusual but mild" symptoms.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a board member of the South African Medical Association, said high pulse rate and intense fatigue are two new symptoms, but none of her patients have experienced the typical loss of taste or smell.

Coetzee has treated a family of four, all of whom were suffering from intense fatigue after testing positive for COVID-19.

"I noticed strange symptoms earlier this month," said Coetzee, who runs a private practice in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria. She said she first noticed that COVID patients were presenting a host of odd symptoms.

"Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before," Coetzee told the Telegraph. The discovery of omicron has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year pandemic.

Omicron is potentially more contagious than previous variants, although experts do not yet know if it will cause more or less severe COVID-19 compared to other strains.

Coetzee told members of the media that the new symptoms she had observed were "mild," and that all of the patients she was treating had recovered well.  (Related: PSYCHO-BIO-WARFARE: OMICRON hysteria is a virus of the mind with no basis in physical reality… it's all a mind game to drive people to vax suicide.)

"We had one very interesting case, a kid, about six years old, with a temperature and a very high pulse rate, and I wondered if I should admit her," Coetzee said. She said that after two days, the kid was so much better.


Omicron, however, poses a greater danger to the elderly.

Countries scramble to protect themselves from omicron

The discovery of the new variant has prompted several countries to reinforce COVID restrictions and impose stringent border controls in an attempt to contain the spread.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed isolation for all U.K. arrivals pending PCR test results and mandatory masks in shops and on trains, and placed a host of countries on the "red list" for travel restrictions.

Switzerland said that only Swiss nationals and permanent residents can enter. They will need to show a pre-departure negative test and undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine.

Spain announced a ban on unvaccinated Britons after neighbor Portugal said it would demand proof of a negative coronavirus test to let even the double-jabbed enter the country.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Australia's New South Wales will ask people who have been overseas in the past two weeks to quarantine themselves at home for three days. The state recently identified two cases of omicron infection and have now closed its borders to several Southern African countries.

Sir John Bell, an immunologist and member of the British government's vaccine task force, said that it was too late to stop "the monster variant from reaching our shores," and that it was a "matter of time" before more Britons are infected.

Omicron has over 30 different mutations

First discovered in South Africa, omicron has since been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong and Australia.

The B.1.1529 omicron variant has more than 30 different mutations, double the amount present in the delta variant. Scientists say there are features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have not been seen before.

U.K. scientists first became aware of the new strain on November 23 after samples were uploaded to a coronavirus variant tracking website from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana.

Work is also under way to see whether the new variant may be causing new infection in people who already had coronavirus or a vaccine, or whether waning immunity may be playing a role.

Follow Pandemic news for more news and information related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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